Two arrested in connection with the murder of Justin Johnson

April 1, 2017

Officers with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department have arrested two Garrison men and charged them in connection with the murder of Justin D. Johnson. Mr. Johnson on Thursday, March 23. His body was discovered on Wednesday, March 29.

Sheriff Johnny Bivens announced the arrests during a briefing for media and the family of Mr. Johnson Saturday morning at the Lewis County Courthouse.

Preston Neill Walters

Preston Neill Walters

• Preston Neill Walters, 52, of Garrison, has been charged with the offense of capital murder (Class A Felony), tampering with physical evidence (Class D Felony), and abuse of a corpse (Class A Misdemeanor).
Preston Neill Walters allegedly shot Justin Johnson in the back with a high caliber pistol, causing his death.
After shooting Mr. Johnson, he allegedly concealed the body beside a roadway and covered it with leaves.
After a period of time Preston Neill Walters allegedly returned to where the body was concealed and, in complicity with Wince L. Walters, removed Mr. Johnson’s body to another location and threw his body over an embankment. He also allegedly concealed or destroyed evidence of his involvement in the murder.
Preston Neill Walters also allegedly abandoned Mr. Johnson’s body, leaving it in the elements for an extended period of time without notifying family members or authorities.

Wince Walters

Wince L. Walters

• Wince L. Walters 53, of Garrison, has been charged with tampering with physical evidence (Class D Felony), and abuse of a corpse (Class A Misdemeanor).
Wince L. Walters allegedly, in complicity with Preston Neill Walters, moved the body of Justin Johnson from the murder scene a significant distance and placed his body in a creek in an attempt to conceal it.
After a period of time Wince L. Walters, in complicity with Preston Neill Walters, allegedly moved Mr. Johnson’s body again and threw him over the embankment. He also allegedly burned the carpet from the trunk of the automobile that was used to transport the body of Mr. Johnson. He also allegedly burned his own boots that he was wearing while committing the crime, and burned the plastic in which Mr. Johnson’s body was wrapped.
Wince L. Walters, in complicity with Preston Neill Walters, also allegedly abandoned Mr. Johnson’s body, leaving it in the elements for an extended period of time without notifying family members or authorities.

Sheriff Johnny Bivens, center, confers with deputies during the execution of a search warrant at a residence near Garrison. - Dennis Brown Photo

Sheriff Johnny Bivens, center, confers with deputies during the execution of a search warrant at a residence near Garrison. – Dennis Brown Photo

Additional charges are pending during this ongoing investigation.

Both men have been lodged in the Lewis County Detention Center.

Justin Johnson Family

Justin Johnson Family

Justin Johnson, 28, of Vanceburg, was reported missing on Thursday, March 23. His abandoned pick-up truck was found on Lower Twin Branch Road near Garrison on Friday, March 24. His remains were discovered Wednesday, March 29, on Cooper Ridge Road on the Lewis/Carter county line by two men who were scouting for turkeys. Johnson’s funeral will be today, April 1, at Gaydos Funeral Home in Vanceburg beginning at 1:00 p.m. Burial will be in Lewis County Memory Gardens at Black Oak.

“We will continue to pursue leads in this case and we will find the answers to the many questions surrounding Mr. Johnson’s tragic death,” said Sheriff Lewis.

“Our thoughts and Prayers are with the Johnson family during this difficult time in their lives. Mr. Johnson has a one-year-old son who will never get to know his loving father,” Sheriff Bivens added.

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